Saturday, March 08, 2008

GameLog 28 & 29 & 30

Been flat out with Uni, Work and games. The sufferer? Gamelogs. Another combined log with times averaged across all 3 weeks so they are comparable to other logs.

Dwarf Fortress (7h) - A healthy dose of fortress building got me back into the roguelike mood. Unfortunately the game is incredibly complex to get into. It's almost impossible to play without the wiki. I was also looking at an article at gamasutra about ForumWarz where they purposefully designed their game to be simple to get into, commenting that "as if someone is going to sit down and read through a wiki before playing". I'd agree too.

The problem I think is that there is very little autonomy in the game. You pretty much have to tell them to do everything apart from eat and sleep (which they seem to enjoy doing far too often). The learning curve to build a fortress enough to get through to the first travellers is hard enough before worrying about goblin attacks or internal rebellion. It looks a much deeper play experience than Settlers or the like, but it also chows down on the CPU and memory like a modern game. It feels wrong for a character based game to struggle, but it must be doing some heavy calculations in the background (or be poorly written) to sit at a solid 50% CPU and 300Mb memory on an early fortress.

Pirates of the Burning Seas (7h) - Had a 7 day trial for Sandy and I to test out PotBS. We opted for pirates to get going and it played pretty well. The sea combat feels really good. Reminds me a lot of the old "Sid Meier's Pirates!" game for ease of naval battle and openness. The hand-to-hand fighting is a little dull until you start getting some special moves to use. Bombs work great!

The economy looks like it has potential, but relying heavily on a player based economy tree needed that area to be simple to get into and flooded with items to make the economy find its feet. Building factories seems to be very labour intensive and unrewarding pastime as you're not going to be making anything useful without 3 or 4 factories, let alone trying to build a boat. Personally I'd have liked to try the game at a more mature level to see what type of difference players could get by spending all the effort of building boats.

Warcraft 3: TFT (3h) - Gem TD was a welcome outcome from the LAN 3 weeks ago. It also made an appearance at last week's LAN, but the big LAN this week featured more of DOTA and worm wars.

TF2 (2h) - Suffered lots from the reso college causing a distinct break with normal playtime.

Trackmania Nations (2h) - St Luke's CCG + LANs.

Football Manager 08 (2h) - Managed to look through a couple more possible players, but on the whole it's been putting me to sleep rather than making time disappear.

ForumWarz (1h) - A little diversion after reading a good gamasutra article on the creator.

World of Warcraft (1h) - Poking my head in every now and then, but nothing too serious.